The state of Odisha which constitutes a part of the Eastern ghat ranges of India has quiet a diversified topography consisting of hills, valleys, dense evergreen forests, scrub jungles, estuaries and man made forests. The forest area is approximately 30 % of its geographical areas. The diversified ecological riches and and environmental situation provide with excellent habitat for a very rich and diversified fauna.
Wildlife in Odisha is very rich and most cases exciting. Wildlife parks in Odisha are great source of attraction not only to Indian Tourists but from all over the globe.
The most frequently visited Wildlife parks of Odisha are the following:
Simlipal is located in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha. The park is considered to have 101 tigers as per last census in 2007, over 55 species of mammals, 304 species of birds. The best way to see as much as possible would be to take a package tour which could take you to Barehpani waterfall (217 metres ) and Joranda falls (181 meters). Tourist resorts are there at Joranda, Barehipani and Chahala.
Bhitarkanika is at a distance of 130 kms from bhubaneswar. The sea, sand, mud, creeks, wildlife and scenic beauty of Bhitarkanika make it the most sought after ecological destination. The nearest railway station is at Bhadrak which is about 77 kms away. Bhitakanika can be approached through Chandbali, Rajnagar and Gupti. You have to take a motor boat to reach any of these points. The saltwater crocodile is the most important reptilian species found in the creeks of Bhitarkanika. Other aquatic fauna like Water Monitor Lizard, Mud Skippers, Ibis, Pelicans, spotted deer, wild boar, hyena and mongoose are notable. Accommodation can be booked at Dangamal or private resorts. Best time is October to March. Last week of December is closed for crocodile census.
The sanctuary was established in 1976 including a 22 km long gorge where the Mahanadi river cuts through eastern ghats.Dhenkanal is situated to the south of the south of the gorge. The nearest town is Angul, situated at a distance of 58 kms. Gharials an endangered crocodile species have made the sanctuary as their home. This sancutary can be visited at any season of the year. Ideal season is December to April. For night stay there is a facility of forest rest house.
Chilika is the largest inland lake in the country.It is a lagoon with brackish water and dotted with many emerald green islands prominent among which are Mahisa, Berhampura, Nalabana, Kalijai, Bird’s Island, Chilika is home to a rich variety of aquatic fauna. One can see the rare Irrawady Dolphins at Satapada which is a part of Chilika Lake. If you are passionate about birding, the small backwaters of Mangalajodi awaits you. Take a boat ride on hand made boats to explore the the beauty of this lake. Best time to visit the lake is from October to February. Accommodation can found at Barkul, Gopalpur, Puri etc.